Chances are, you wouldn’t stick a fork into an electrical outlet, pick flaking paint and put paint chips in your mouth, or lean on the screen of an open window. But children, who are inherently curious about the world around them, will poke, touch, push, pull and explore every inch of your home. They’ll pick things up and put them in their mouths. And it can happen in an instant. These childproofing tips will help you make your home safe for little explorers.
Scary Child Safety Statistics
Why is it important to childproof your home? Just to share one example, during the heyday of the Tide Pod Challenge, when people filmed each other eating Tide Pods, injuries related to laundry pods and packet detergents accounted for 73,000 calls to emergency centers around the country. Even for children too young to understand the challenge, the colorful Tide Pods looked temptingly like candy.
Nationally, children’s ER visits are double those of non-senior adults. More than four million children under the age of 18 are in emergency rooms every year.
In short, childproofing your home is critical, even if you only have children inside occasionally.
1. Cover up
Make it difficult or impossible for children to put fingers or objects where they shouldn’t go. Get inexpensive child-safe covers for outlets, and cover or block potential burn hazards, such as hot radiators.
Put window guards or safety nettings on windows to prevent falls. And not just on low windows: children can drag chairs to higher windows because they want to see out.
Cover, block or prevent access to radiators and anything else that can burn or injure a child.
2. Get the childproofing gear
There are more protective devices than ever to childproof your home, including:
- Cabinet latches
- Safety gates
- Outlet covers
- Doorknob covers and locks
- Corner and edge bumpers
- Furniture and appliance anchors
- Anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads
And the list goes on. Survey your house, get what you need, and spend a few hours installing everything.
3. Move it
If it’s breakable, sharp or dangerous in any way, put it out of reach in a childproof or locked area. Even items that seem benign—such as small objects (choking hazards), medications (even with childproof caps), plastic bags and lighters—should be out of sight and out of reach.
4. Alarm yourself
Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, especially in and near sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms should be located near sleeping areas. Replace batteries annually; that’s a small price to pay for your safety.
5. Watch out for water
Be especially cautious when it comes to water. Pools and spas require multiple protection strategies, including fences, gates/doors, locks and alarms. Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub, swimming pool or spa.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4,000 people in the U.S. drown every year. Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 (behind birth defects). For children under 14, only motor vehicle crashes kill more.
6. Remove small objects
Anything small, from a penny on the floor to fancy thimbles displayed on a table, can be swallowed in an instant. Statistics show that the number of small children swallowing small objects is skyrocketing. Coins, pieces of toys, jewelry, batteries, and screws are dangerous choking hazards, and all too easy for an adult to overlook and a child to find. Nothing escapes the attention of small children who spend the day crawling on the floor.
Which leads to…
7. Explore like a child
To ensure your home is childproof, explore it as a child would. Crawl around on your hands and knees into every corner. Open drawers and cabinets to see what’s inside that might be dangerous.
You can’t be too careful.
If you have any questions, or simply want to see if you can save money, call our office at 877-576-5200.